Equipping Christians for the General Election

engaGE with a tweet
James Mildred

You are entering a rare place. Good, well-researched election websites from a clear Christian perspective that cover such a range of key issues are not common. We are indebted to CARE’s policy team for their hard work in producing so much content, in such a timely fashion. Packed, as it is, with plenty of up-to-date content on policy areas such as euthanasia, abortion, family policy and religious liberty I am in no doubt this website will prove invaluable for Christians as they wrestle through who to vote for.

We need websites like this. How our country is governed and what different policies will mean for the unborn, the elderly, families and those who are being denied justice all matter to us. As Stuart Weir has already argued, June 8th is a chance to ‘curate the Commons’ so we should seize the opportunity.

If we are going to effectively engage, perhaps it will help us to get creative. My friend Johnny Monro reminded me recently how easy it is to ask your candidate what he or she thinks by using twitter or facebook. Last year, I remember tweeting my local MP on a number of key issues and I always got a reply. Both facebook and twitter include a private messaging service which means you can ask your candidate a question without requiring him or her to commit more publically. So why not do this? Just about every party candidate will use twitter constantly to let you know how their campaigning is going. This is a great means of asking direct questions and hopefully, getting reasonably direct answers.

The other avenue to pursue is a church husting. This has always been a massive feature of CARE’s election websites. Church hustings are not only useful for candidates and voters, they also help local churches develop and establish links in local communities. CARE’s UK director Gareth Davies speaks here about election hustings.

Cynicism about our politicians and this election is a far easier option for us than hope and expectation. In the UK, our Judeo-Christian heritage has been undermined consistently now for decades. For many Christians, I suspect there is a great deal of frustration and irritation. The temptation is to not engage. Some might choose not to vote in protest or because they cannot vote for any party on conscience grounds. We must respect everyone’s right to vote according to conscience. But I hope we take the opportunity afforded to us in a democracy to make our choice, carefully and prayerfully and then to seek positive engagement with our new MP over the next parliament.

CARE’s longstanding commitment to human dignity is also a reminder that the responsibility to be salt and light carries on well after June 8th. At a time of such political upheaval as we are witnessing today, it is of no small comfort to remember our God reigns. Over all that takes place on June 8th and beyond that, God is Sovereign and it is his will we seek to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

James Mildred is the co-founder of the Holy Political Podcast, which provides cutting edge political analysis from a Christian perspective.

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